There Will Not Be Another Bailout

Question: How will Dubai’s $26 billion debt affect the rest of the world economy?

Peter Thiel: It’s still too early to know whether Dubai is a bit of a one off, or a start of a larger trend. What I think it is symptomatic of though is a trend toward a more deflationary politics. In inflationary political world, we believe that everybody is in the same boat and everybody needs to be bailed out because everybody could have been in the same boat, but for the grace of God.

In a deflationary world, we say that some people are good people and some people are bad people and we do not give the bad people more money whether they are Madoff, or people who lied on their sub prime mortgage applications. I think the trend has been from a relentlessly inflationary to a deflationary political regime where we no longer think of everybody being in the same boat, but we think of there being good people and bad people.

With respect to Dubai, the basic mistake people made was they assumed that it was all part of the United Arab Emirates. Everybody was in the same boat, Abu Dhabi had lots of money, and they would help Dubai out. In reality, Abu Dhabi was probably quite resentful of the shiny and glittering and fake city known as Dubai and when push came to shove didn't really want to give them more money. And I think that kind of emotional or political or social phenomenon is going to be much more widespread and the question that will come to the fore in the next few years is will Germany bail out Greece or Spain, or Italy, or Eastern Europe? Will the responsible people bailout those they deem to be less responsible? If General Motors goes bankrupt again, will it get a second bailout? Will there be a second bailout for the banks? Will there be a second stimulus bill? I think the answer to all of these things is, no.

So, if the crisis is not over, then if it comes back it will come back in a very different political form and it will be much less tolerant the second time around. Just to use the stimulus as one example. If the first stimulus worked, you don't need a second one. If the first stimulus did not work it's hard to see why a second one would work. Either way, it will be very hard to get a second stimulus. And so the view that we will just constantly stimulate will constantly bail people out I think is very misguided and I think it underestimates the degree to which we shifted from inflationary mindset that it's booms, bubbles, busts, we're all in the same boat, to a deflationary mindset of separating good people from bad people and punishing bad people. I personally think there is some truth to both stories, but I'm merely observed that we are relentlessly drifting towards a deflationary political world.

Recorded on December 7, 2009

 

 

 

Dubai’s current situation shows us that we are quickly shifting from an inflationary toward a deflationary political world, says Peter Thiel, one with much less tolerance the second time around.

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Scientists study tattooed corpses, find pigment in lymph nodes

It turns out, that tattoo ink can travel throughout your body and settle in lymph nodes.

17th August 1973: An American tattoo artist working on a client's shoulder. (Photo by F. Roy Kemp/BIPs/Getty Images)
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In the slightly macabre experiment to find out where tattoo ink travels to in the body, French and German researchers recently used synchrotron X-ray fluorescence in four "inked" human cadavers — as well as one without. The results of their 2017 study? Some of the tattoo ink apparently settled in lymph nodes.


Image from the study.

As the authors explain in the study — they hail from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment — it would have been unethical to test this on live animals since those creatures would not be able to give permission to be tattooed.

Because of the prevalence of tattoos these days, the researchers wanted to find out if the ink could be harmful in some way.

"The increasing prevalence of tattoos provoked safety concerns with respect to particle distribution and effects inside the human body," they write.

It works like this: Since lymph nodes filter lymph, which is the fluid that carries white blood cells throughout the body in an effort to fight infections that are encountered, that is where some of the ink particles collect.

Image by authors of the study.

Titanium dioxide appears to be the thing that travels. It's a white tattoo ink pigment that's mixed with other colors all the time to control shades.

The study's authors will keep working on this in the meantime.

“In future experiments we will also look into the pigment and heavy metal burden of other, more distant internal organs and tissues in order to track any possible bio-distribution of tattoo ink ingredients throughout the body. The outcome of these investigations not only will be helpful in the assessment of the health risks associated with tattooing but also in the judgment of other exposures such as, e.g., the entrance of TiO2 nanoparticles present in cosmetics at the site of damaged skin."

Why are so many objects in space shaped like discs?

It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?

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  • Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
  • Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
  • Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.